Thrift shopping in Tacoma

Last week, I went thrift shopping with my friend Mandi.
You know, the Mandi from Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporioum.
Earlier this year, Mandi and I visited the Goodwill outlet in Seattle for the first time.
It was an experience!
I may or may not have gotten spoken to {in a loud voice} about following the rules of the Outlet and been threatened by the Goodwill security.
Since hearing that they opened a Goodwill outlet a little closer to home in Tacoma, we decided we were going to go together to see how they compared.
It took us about 6 months to schedule a day that worked for both of us.
Mandi needed to fill her shop, and I needed to find some bargains.
Here are a few of the places we shopped at.

Deseret Industries in Federal Way
While I can't say I have found the best finds at the store, I really haven't given it a fair chance.
I think if you are going to be serious about thrifting, you need to go to a store multiple times a week to find the good stuff.  
People tell me all the time that they never find anything good at garage sales, but if you only go to one garage sale on a Saturday, you aren't going to find the good stuff that I find by going to 20 garage sales.
I digress...
 Deseret is less expensive than my local Goodwill and has similar donated merchandise.
The clothing prices confuse me and the powers that be that make up the prices seem a bit confused on the quality of brands.  The Wal-Mart brands seem to be priced higher than some of the "better" brands.  
Some of the clothes on the racks make me shake my head because I'm not sure who would buy the out of date 90's romper or the t-shirt with the armpit stains and name inscribed on the back.
To each his own though.
The household items and furniture are worth taking a look at because the price is right most of the time.

Our next stop was the 
Tacoma ReStore
I've been in a few Habitat for Humanity ReStores and haven't been impressed, however, this Tacoma location was one of the better stores I have been in.
The furniture prices were expensive {that large hutch was over $2,000} but there were some good finds to be had.  Mandi picked up a huge antique mirror for $25.  And if you are looking for building supplies for a small area, and you aren't too picky, the ReStore is a good place to start.
We made our way to the 
Goodwill Outlet
just down the road from the ReStore.

Compared to the Seattle location, this Goodwill outlet seemed to have less vintage finds.
However, the shoes were rubber banded together {easier to find a match}
and the clothes seemed to be in better condition {no crotch holes}.
There were similar rules {and I was told more than once that the Goodwill employees had the right to kick me out and ban me from the store for up to a year if I didn't follow them}
and just as many regulars.

One guy I chatted up was recovering from an injury at work and he said that he stopped in a few times a DAY to shop for bargains.  He said he mostly gets things to take with him to Mexico to resell.  

I found that this Tacoma location had better prices than the Seattle location.

Final stop
Bargain World
I've driven past this store about 100 times and never stopped in.
Bargain World gets mixed reviews on Yelp, some people swear by the great finds they get {Joe's jeans for $10} while others think of it as a ghetto Goodwill...and that's saying something!
I was unimpressed.
What always makes me wonder is why these creepy clowns are priced at $15.95

and this tufted headboard is only $5.95?
The stock seemed low and the prices for most of the items seemed too high.

If I had a gun to my head and could only pick one thrift store in Tacoma to go to for the rest of my life, it would be the Goodwill Outlet.
The cheap prices and good quality merchandise I walked out with make it worth a stop another day.
I'm still not a willing thrift store shopper.  
I love my garage sales.
But if I get the itch for a deal, I know where to go.
What are your favorite thrift stores?
Maybe I can be converted.

1 comment

Jaclyn R. said...

I live in the suburbs of Michigan and I have only ever seen The Salvation Army thrift stores around me. Since I'm a high school student and don't have much money, I love thrifting but I wish I could find more variety!

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